- I am the thing that keeps you up at night, the evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind.... I will never rest. And neither will you.
Slade Wilson (known as Deathstroke the Terminator in the original DC comics) is the arch-nemesis of the Teen Titans, who wants them destroyed for his own unknown reasons.
Slade appears in the Teen Titans animated series, where he is referred to only as Slade due to censorship issues. He is the Titans' main adversary and was the primary antagonist for the first two seasons. His main goal is to defeat the Titans, destroy the city, and quite possibly rule the world, all for unknown reasons. He has had two secret bases, which were both destroyed. He also seems to have a massive army of robotic commandos and incredible strength, enough to leave a dent in solid steel with one hit.
In many episodes in Season One and Season Two, he tries to recruit others to his side. He initially hires Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth from the H.I.V.E. Academy for his team but the Titans succeed in beating the three graduates. Slade then tries to trick Thunder and Lightning, two teenage storm elementals, into destroying Jump City, but that too failed when Beast Boy helped the brothers to see the error of their ways. Slade forced Robin to join him, with the threat that if he did not, Slade would use nanobots he planted in the Titans to destroy them from the inside out, therefore killing them. Robin eventually overcame Slade with his friends' help. Interestingly, when presented with an opportunity to kill all five of the Titans after Robin infected himself with the nanobots, he chose not to kill them. Two theories exist for this behavior. One, if Robin, currently his apprentice at that time, was killed, he would have been completely powerless. Two, he simply would have had no archenemy.
In Season Two, Slade set his sights on recruiting a new apprentice, the superheroine Terra, who, in the animated series, is portrayed as more of a lost soul than an irredeemable psychopath. Throughout the season, Slade tormented her and exploited her fears of being unable to control her powers and of alienating her newfound friends, the Teen Titans, and slowly drove her to his side. Slade coaxed Terra into subjecting herself willingly to apprenticeship, despite the Titans having warned Terra of Slade, and promised that he could teach her to control her powers. After believing that Beast Boy betrayed her trust and told the other Titans of her difficulties in controlling her powers (even though Beast Boy didn't tell her and Robin only figured it out), Terra eventually betrayed the Titans to Slade, who indeed taught her to control her powers, and took over the city with her help. During this time, Slade had crafted a new suit for Terra, one bearing his insignia, and was able to access her powers to assist her in combat, and to an extent, control her. With Slade's help, Terra mercilessly defeated the Titans, who were reluctant to fight their old friend, and were focused on trying to redeem her rather than defeat her. The Titans however returned, and with Beast Boy's help, Terra overcame the link her new suit had to Slade, and she sent him to his doom in a lava pit while she turned to stone.
Being apparently dead, Slade was absent for the most part in the third season. He did appear in the season 3 episode "Haunted". But, he is a figment of Robin's imagination, due to a dust released from his mask onto Robin, which made him see, hear, and feel Slade. This almost killed Robin, but Robin saved his own life by turning on the lights (thus banishing the Slade hallucination). He then inexplicably returned in full for Season Four, as the servant of Raven's demonic father Trigon. Slade now had fire powers and a red mark on his forehead, called the Mark of Scath. He delivered Trigon's message to Raven, that she would cause the end of the world. It is explained that Slade's defeat at Terra's hands had indeed killed him, and that Trigon had promised to give him back his flesh in exchange for his services. However, Trigon went back on the deal, and Slade decided to join forces with the Teen Titans. While Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy tried to distract Trigon, Robin and Slade went to find Raven (who had been transformed into a child version of herself) in the underworld. Upon returning to the surface with Raven, the Titans assaulted Trigon in a somewhat vain effort to defeat him. Nevertheless, they managed to hurt him, as did Slade, who recovered his flesh and stole the demonic weapon of one of Trigon's minions. Raven finally defeated her "father" and restored the world to normal, but Slade escaped the Titans shortly thereafter, with a solemn promise from Robin that nothing has changed, and he will make that clear if he sees him again. Slade is also one of the only villains who did not join the Brotherhood of Evil and that do not make an appearance in the final battle. So, he only appears in one episode of Season Five ("Things Change") to convince Beast Boy to leave a girl that looks and behaves like Terra alone forcefully. In anger, he seemingly kills Slade, but it was just another one of Slade's robot clones.
Jericho (Deathstroke's son from the comics) has appeared in the final episodes, but no reference has been made to Slade's and Jericho's connection in the show.
Slade is an extremely calm and composed individual, remaining an enigma to both enemies and allies alike throughout the series. As a result, not much is known of his true personality by anyone, although the comparison has been made on multiple occasions by multiple people that he and Robin share similar traits, such as an intense dislike to lose and are fiercly dedicated, borderline obsessive, in accomplishing their goals.
Although many people do not know Slade's intentions to fight, it is made clear a couple times. In Birthmark, Slade quotes that it is, "always the quiet ones", and in Apprentice Part II, he quotes, "Betrayal. Destruction. Revenge." These all may reference his son Joseph, since he can't talk, and the incident leading up to him unable to talk (and Slade losing his right eye) was because of Slade supposedly betraying his family, which leaded to the minor desctuction of his home (but major destruction to him and his son), which leaded to Slade wanting to get revenge on unknown people to make it up for his son losing the ability to speak.
The epitome of an evil mastermind, Slade is clever and calculating, never coming into view unless he has the complete advantage, and flees the moment that advantage is compromised. A master manipulator, he prefers to bait others into traps rather than directly confront them himself, and uses his robotic minions to their fullest extent, as they're often seen fighting in his stead. Throughout the first two seasons, for reasons which are not entirely clear, he is shown tirelessly working on recruiting new apprentices, setting his sights on both Robin and Terra respectively. Using his intelligence and charisma, he exploits their weaknesses and fears, and is not above blackmailing them into submission, as he did with Robin in Apprentice Part I.
In a conversation with Robin in The End Part II, Slade admits to feeling no remorse for any of his crimes, saying "it's what I do best" when Robin tells him that everything that he's ever done has only made people suffer.
Powers and abilities
Slade possesses great if not superhuman physical capabilities including increased strength and endurance, as well as enhanced reflexes, and displays a mastery in many forms of armed and unarmed combat, making him a terrifying and formidable opponent. In the Teen Titans: Know Your Foes interview on the Season 2 DVD, Slade is said to also have enhanced regenerative capabilities. In addition to his great strength, Slade is a nimble fighter, demonstrating his superior agility in combat on numerous occasions and has been shown to be able to move faster than even Robin during their brief scuffle in Apprentice Part II. By deducing one's strengths and weaknesses, Slade has been able to hold his own, if not outright overpower superpowered opponents, including all the members of the Titans at one point or another. In addition, he is a master of psychological manipulation, a master planner, and cunning strategist, and has also demonstrated skills in disguise and ritual magic.
As Trigon's second in command, Slade was granted the ability to fly, teleport, phase, and to generate demonic fire blasts. As an effectively non-living entity at that time, he also possessed no sense of pain and the ability to withstand even massive amounts of physical damage.
In "Forces of Nature", disguised as an old sage, he was able to summon a monster through burning scarecrows aligned similar to the Mark of Scath, implying either that he was associated with Trigon all along, hence why he was chosen as his herald after death, or that he simply has knowledge over the occult and is merely a coincidence. In his disguise, Slade seemed to use telekinesis to retrieve his staff after Robin knocked it out of his hand, and vanished in a puff of smoke. While the former might have been a magical abilitiy, spell, or device, the latter may just have been a smoke bomb though Slade was somehow able to disguise his muscular frame to look like a small old man.
- Slade's original comic name "Deathstroke" did not make it through the censors due to hesitance to use the word "death" in a children's animated series; thus, the character is referred to by his first name. However, his original name is mentioned in the tie-in comic Teen Titans Go! and in the foreign language versions of the show. He is also changed from an assassin and mercenary-for-hire to an enigmatic criminal mastermind.
- He is actually the only villain from the original comic to not use his original supervillain name.
- Slade is disguised as an elderly mystic who bears resemblance to Slade's maskless comic book appearance.
- Only two of Slade's three children appear in the cartoon. The only child of Slade not to appear was his firstborn son Grant Wilson. In the comics, Grant was the first criminal to be called the Ravager. He was killed in his first encounter with the Teen Titans.
- Slade is the final boss character in the video game, as well as a playable unlocked character.
- In the mainstream DC comics line, Slade/Deathstroke was originally a soldier in the service of the US military that was trained and artificially modified to become the ultimate killing machine. However, Slade vowed to exact revenge on the rest of the world when his son, Joseph, became mute because a mercenary assigned to kidnap him damaged his vocal cord. In the same incident, Slade lost one of his eyes. Even though Slade became an assassin and criminal mastermind, Joseph discovered his superhuman abilities and became the Teen Titan Jericho.
- In The End - Part 2 and a glimpse of part 3 you see his scarred skull.
- Most villains are quite cowardly and weak in combat without their henchmen, but Slade has proven countless times to not only fight well in battle, but to be able to combat all the titans at once, a fighting trait also possessed by Robin.
- Slade is the only villain to shift alignments completely (unlike Jinx who became a full-on hero). The first and second seasons he was indeed a villain, but in seasons 4 and 5 he seemed to develop more of an antihero alignment.
- Although Robin and Slade vowed in Season 4 that if they were to encounter each other again a fight would not be reconsidered, Slade (at least as a villain) never fought with the Titans afterward even when encountering Beastboy.
- A similar character named Wade Wilson (A.K.A. Deadpool), who appears in Marvel Comics, also has regenerative abilities.
- In The End - Part 2, it is revealed that his face was a skeleton after his "solo fight". However he regained his flesh after the fight was finished and his face was never revealed.
- Height: 6`4.
- Weight: 240 lb.
- Slade has also appeared in Young Justice as Deathstroke
Slade is the last boss and a playable character in the Teen Titans video game. Slade is the only person who appears in the first and last episode of the series. He also appears in 7 ending episodes of the seasons.